Luis Verdugo – Picture by Todd Johnson

As most of you probably reading this early this morning, I am either getting ready to go to work, going to work, or sitting in a teachers institute dreaming of baseball. Last week was busy for me as I was up in Appleton and I got some good pictures of South Bend players for what will probably be the last time this season. I came home and then got to work getting my classroom ready for school. I’m sort of sad about that because right now South Bend is right smack dab in the middle of a playoff chase and Appleton might be the last time I see them this season. 

Playoff Chases: It looks like the Cubs could have three teams make the playoffs if everything goes right

Iowa 50-61 – The I Cubs keep slipping a little week-by-week. They are now 17.5  games out of first. They don’t end their season until September 25.

Tennessee 22-17 – The Smokies currently have a 2 game lead over Rocket City for the lead in their division with Birmingham falling quick at 5 games back. The Smokies need to make hay the next two weeks against those two squads. The Smokies’ season will end on September 18.

South Bend 25-17 – Their five game lead has now slipped to 1 game over Beloit who is playing well. South Bend has been on the road the past two weeks. They’re ready to get back to Indiana and have some good home cooking. This next week will be critical for South Bend as Beloit will be in town. The Cubs can put some distance between themselves and the Sky Carp this week. The last time they played in Beloit, South Bend won 5 of 6. That would do!

Myrtle Beach 21-21 – The Pelicans are already in the playoffs but they could make things difficult for Charleston who currently have a 4.5 game lead over Myrtle Beach. Whether the Pelicans’ bullpen and starting pitching can hold up is another story as every single starter from this year‘s opening day squad has been promoted to South Bend along with half of their opening day bullpen.

Card of the Week

Who’s Hot Right Now?

Tuesday will be the halfway mark of the month and here are the hitters for each affiliate who are pretty much tearing it up at the plate this month.

Myrtle Beach 

Jacob Wetzel – This makes two months in a row for him.
Felix Stevens – I am glad to see him rebounded from a poor July
Ezequiel Pagan – He just keeps hitting hitting hitting and hitting
Parker Chavers – I think he’s a five tool player and I’m glad to see that he is now healthy and starting to produce and I look forward to seeing him next year in South Bend
Scott McKeon – Now that he’s a little closer to home, he’s producing quite regularly as he’s playing quite regularly. He was only playing twice a week in South Bend.

South Bend

Luis Verdugo – He just flat out rakes
PCA – I could watch him play defense all day, but it’s hitting is starting to come along with AAA after dominating at Myrtle Beach
Pablo Aliendo – He’s been on fire since The beginning of July and has not stopped. He looks like he’s just seeing the ball really well and driving it.


Yonathan Perlaza – Really interesting to see how many prospects list he gets put on this fall
Nelson Maldonado – He’s actually been raking all month long and hopefully that will get them back to Iowa at some point either late this year or early next year and hopefully his success will carry over to AAA.
Alexander Canario – The Summer of Canario continues with lots of dingers.


John Hicks – While he is a free agent at the end of the year, he put himself on the radar to get signed by somebody else
Darius Hill – Along with him, I’m still waiting for him to get some works in Chicago
Matt Mervis – There’s no doubt that he’s just about for the big leagues. I would not be surprised to see him break camp with them next spring
Alfonso Rivas – He’s done nothing but rake at Iowa but that’s success hasn’t carried over to Chicago just yet
Narciso Crook – It’ll be interesting to see what role he’s gonna have beyond this year as he has a free agent. I doubt it’s a Cubs put him on 40 Main and keep him
Luis Vazquez – I just love this kid. He’s an outstanding defender, an intense competitor, and his bat has started to catch up to his glove. He’s not gonna hit 30 home runs, but will be productive play

Hitter of the Week

Luis Verdugo hit .333 with a .393 OBP this week while cranking 1 dinger and driving in 6. He’s pretty lanky right now, but I could see him adding another 10-15 pounds this winter. With his glove and penchant for line drives, I could see him taking off even more next year.

Starting Pitcher of the Week

Ryan Jensen had the best outing of the week going 5 scoreless with 7 Ks. And there’s this bit of info…

Reliever of the Week

Sheldon Reed threw just twice and only threw 3 innings. But Sheldon dominated those three scoreless frames by getting seven of nine outs via the strikeout. It was a good week to be Sheldon Reed.

Team of the Week

Tennessee went 4-2 this week as they continued their parade towards the playoffs.